FREYLINGHAUSEN, frî’ ling-hau” zen, JOHANN ANASTASIUS: Pietist leader and hymn-writer; b. at Gandersheim (36 m. s.w. of Brunswick) Dec. 2, 1670; d. at Halle Feb. 12, 1739. His father was a merchant and Bürgermeister of Gandersheim. He attended the school in Eimbeck, living there with his grandfather, the councilor Dietrich Freylinghausen, and studied theology at Jena, Erfurt, and Halle. In Halle he assisted Francke as well in his sermons and parochial duties as in the establishment of his well-known institutions (see FRANCKE, AUGUST HERMANN). When Francke, in 1715, was called as pastor to the church of St. Ulrich, Freylinghausen became his assistant and married his only daughter. Assistant superintendent of the Paedagogium and of the orphan asylum from 1723, he became, after Francke's death, and in association with the latter's son, superintendent of both institutions and also head pastor of St. Ulrich's. From 1728 he had several attacks of paralysis, but continued his labors to the end.
Freylinghausen is one of the most noteworthy of the group of gifted men who, deeply interested in the ideas of Spener, worked together zealously for their realization. Francke often called him his right hand. He is most widely known as a poet, and is distinguished among the poets of German Pietism by his imagination and delicacy of taste. His hymns--forty-four are ascribed to him with certainty--are characterized by Scriptural phrases and conceptions, but never sink to the level of Biblical doggerel. His importance in the history of spiritual song, however, depends principally on the hymnals which he edited, in which many hymns from the circle of the Pietists first saw the light. The earliest of these hymnals appeared in 1704 and contained 683 hymns (2d ed., 1705, with seventy-five additional hymns); the second in 1714, containing 798 hymns and seventeen psalms for festal occasions (2d ed., 1719, with three additional hymns). A selection from both was published in 1718, containing 1,050 hymns. A complete hymnal after Freylinghausen was brought out by Francke's son, Gotthilf August Francke, in 1741. In these hymnals, the personal devotion peculiar to Pietism appears for the first time to claim an equal place with the objectivity of the older hymns. The musical part was even more of a novelty than the poetical. The melodies, sometimes composed by Freylinghausen himself, differ from the older ones in their triple-time, in the tripping movement of the tune with the constant refrains, and in the flourishes with which the principal part is overcharged.
Freylinghausen was also prominent as a catechist. His Grundlegung der Theologie (Halle, 1703) was even used as a guide in academic lectures by Rambach, Baumgarten and others. That the simple and instructive style of Freylinghausen's preaching was fully appreciated appears from the fact that, at the request of the theological faculty of Halle, he delivered lectures to the students on homiletics, a branch of study which was first included in the theological curriculum on the initiative of Halle.